CHENEY, Washington – Jacob Mills (Burnaby, B.C.) recorded a hat trick and his brother Lucas Mills (Burnaby) earned the win in net, as the Spartans nabbed a 5-1 victory over Eastern Washington Friday.
The older Mills scored twice in the first period and completed the hat trick late in the third period, helping TWU improve to 14-5-0-2 and move within one point of securing second place in the BCIHL.
Kade Vilio (Aldergrove, B.C.) scored his first goal as a Spartan, while Florian Niedermaier (Davos, Switzerland) also tallied for TWU.
Mills made 35 saves for his fourth win of the season.
While TWU is still six points behind Simon Fraser for top spot in the league, the win puts them five points ahead of third place Selkirk with both teams only having three games to play.
Tanner Hawes scored the lone goal for the Eagles (2-18-0-1).
EWU’s Tyler O’Donnell stopped 33 of the 38 shots he faced.
The teams will meet again Saturday night at 7 p.m.
“It was a good road win for us,” said Spartans coach Barret Kropf. “We kept it simple and did what we needed to do and we stayed disciplined. Our guys did a great job back-checking and taking care of the defensive zone. A guy like Braden Senft (Regina) had a great game for us. Kade got his first goal in the league, young Millsy played great in net and his brother had a hat-trick. Everything from forwards to goaltending to defence had a great game tonight.”
Mills opened the scoring at 6:40 of the first period, with Dirk de Waal (Lethbridge, Alta.) getting his first of two assists and Jarrett Fontaine (Humboldt, Sask.) picking up the second assist. With his lone assist on the night, Fontaine kept pace with Victoria’s Shawn Mueller for top spot in the BCHIL scoring race. Both players have 28 points on the year.
Less than five minutes later Mills added his second of the night.
Vilio got in on the scoring action at 5:26 of the middle frame before Niedermaier buried his eighth goal of the season on the power play.
Hawes struck back with 4:31 left in the third period before Mills rounded out his hat trick with 2:23 to play.
TWU was one for eight on the power play while EWU was scoreless on six opportunities.
The Spartans have allowed just one goal in each of their last three games and have combined for 13 goals over that same span.